Many parents send their children to pre-schools and other learning institutions to help their child develop and hopefully prepare to do well as a student and later as an adult. While selecting the right pre-school is a good first step, there are ways parents can continue at home what educators do at school to help their child get the most out of the process.
1. Find out What Your Child is Learning
Request a copy of your child’s curriculum from the school and talk with your child and your child’s teacher about what they are learning. That way as you are planning trips with your child, selecting library books or simply talking before bed you can incorporate some of the things your child is learning about. For example, if your child is learning about trees, take them to a park, national forest or even your back yard and talk about the things your child has learned. Encourage questions and exploring when doing this to enhance what the child is learning at school through new connections and discovery.
2. Work with the Teachers
Teachers may often notice things about their students learning habits that parents may not pick up on. By talking with and working with teachers to help your child learn, you are given a professional second opinion on what may help your child. Talk with your child’s teachers often to develop a relationship and be open to hear new ideas. On the other side, share with teachers any concerns or issues you have noticed. If your child has a particular form of discipline they respond to or any health issues, talk openly and frankly with teachers about how to manage those issues. The more you are able to talk openly with teachers the less frustrated you and the teacher will be, and your child will start getting the support he or she needs more quickly.
3. Create a Routine
While teachers can create and live by a routine while teaching school, they can’t control the schedule at home. As parents, creating a schedule for your child to go to bed on time, do their homework if they have any and even to eat meals is important for the child’s progress at school and physical development. Routine creates a sense of security for a child and helps him or her to relate to the world. Create a bed time routine and stick to it every night at a certain time. Complete homework or other assignments at the same time everyday and keep meal times as consistent as possible.
4. Read to Your Child
This is not a new idea, but it is still important. Reading to your child can open many opportunities both for learning and bonding. Along with obvious benefits of learning about whatever the book is about, reading can also teach the importance of learning, aid in developing speech patterns and word recognition and develop empathy and moral values. If your child is learning about letters or phonics, have the child point out letters or sounds he or she knows. Talk about what happens in the book and what the child learned from it. Reading at bed time is a good way to form a reading habit.